Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia and other protesting wrestlers have expressed optimism that the Supreme Court will uphold their rights in the wake of recent controversy surrounding BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is accuse of serious sexual harassment by female wrestlers. The protesting wrestlers met their attorney and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal on Tuesday at the latter’s residence. In a later interview with media representatives, Punia stated that the grapplers were hopeful of receiving justice from the Supreme Court because there is no one above the law. The grapplers were sitting in protest near the Jantar Mantar demanding the removal of Brij Bhushan in light of allegations of sexual harassment by female grapplers and an overhaul of the federation.
SC Seeks Response From Delhi Police
On the wrestler’s request for the WFI chief to have a FIR registered against him in light of the allegations, the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave Delhi Police a notice. Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had announced the five-member oversight committee, led by legendary boxer MC Mary Kom, to look into allegations against Singh, a BJP leader and a muscleman with a criminal history, after the wrestlers made their accusations against the WFI president public in January.
The WFI president was requested to take a break from leading the federation’s daily operations while the oversight committee’s report was being prepared. “In the hopes of achieving justice, we are staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar. For the past three months, we had been waiting for justice, but we never received it. We have therefore been force to start new demonstrations in front of Jantar Mantar. This issue has been brought before the Supreme Court, which has designated it as “serious.” After meeting Kapil Sibal, Punia told reporters, “This gives us hope of justice coming soon.
“It’s most unfortunate that people in power talk about morality, talk about doing the right thing when, in fact, the reality is just the opposite,” Sibal said in reference to the Delhi Police’s decision not to file a FIR against the head of the WFI.
Punia responded, “Two wrestlers have already given affidavits. The protesting wrestlers have not forwarded the allegations against the WFI chief in writing to the committee. We are unable to reveal their names. In addition, we provided some supporting information. They testified before the committee, outlining the sexual harassment claims. The committee can therefore push for action (against the WFI chief) because there is enough evidence on file.
All Political Parties Are Welcome, Say Wrestlers
The agitating wrestlers, in the meantime, had modified their position and now welcomed the support of all political parties. In order to protest the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually assaulting female wrestlers, prominent Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and others, returned to New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Sunday.
“All parties, including the BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and other parties, are welcome. We only wave the Indian flag when we win a medal, never the flag of any other political group. When we receive medals, everyone congratulates us, not just one party, and we are not associate with any particular party. All Indians are welcome to participate in the protests because we are a part of this nation. Punia told reporters at the protest site, “If we don’t fight for the women of this country, then we can’t fight against anything.